One of the main forces behind Peterborough, NH’s marvelous THE THING IN THE SPRING music and arts festival, ERIC GAGNE is an awesome and positive force in New England underground and independent culture. Not to mention the fact that he also plays in a number of bands, including Footings.
I don’t have to tell you that these are dark times. We’re told that we are now in a post-factual society, and we have a reality television star for a president. As fucked as this is, are you surprised? For a country founded on genocide, built by slavery, and being the only world power to have dropped nuclear weapons on civilian populations, it seems the perfect fit. The “Greatest Generation” prospered while the military-industrial complex was constructed and set free to roam and stomp through the poor; those same people now bemoan the younger folks as lazy. It’s all garbage and all we can do is click around the internet, duckfacing and arguing with our racist cousins about why Black Lives Matter. To stop it, one would need literally MILLIONS of people to sacrifice themselves, and as bleak as it all is, life is still boundless and wonderful. Confused? Me too.
Waking Windows Portland featured so many great sets of music, standouts were Mal Devisa, Pile, and Bright Boy. Mal Devisa released a GREAT album this year too.
Got to tour down south a bit with Rick Maguire and saw Free Pizza in Nashville TN. The real and true Minutemen vibe shining and pulsing. I didn’t realize folks were still making that level of jubilant music. Here is a sweet album they did this year.
Some cool stuff happened in Peterborough NH. Saw great sets by Giving up at the library, Wooden Dinosaur & Sam Moss at the Monadnock Center, Wren Kitz & Alexander at Launch Art, and Susie Ibarra, Vapors of Morphine, State Champion, Huntress and the Holder of Hands, and Paper Castles at The Thing in the Spring. Here’s a video shot during this year’s Thing of Huntress & the Holder of Hands.
Waking Windows Winooski slayed as usual with great sets by Hop Along, Califone, Kal Marks, and Rick Rude. Here’s Hop Along’s “Sister Cities” live this past May…
The Takedown Festival (formerly in Pawtuckaway) in Strafford NH was the insane campout I’ve always wanted. Transcendent sets by Palehound, Sam Moss, and a trio performance by Nat Baldwin, Peter McLaughlin, and Brett Deschenes, as well as a live reenactment of ET. Tears. Check out the Bike Chase scene.
My daughter got into Star Wars and started accompanying me on the piano; her playing is a little Pavementy (in a good way), but she’s a great listener.
Favorite albums of 2016 (that come to mind right now. I am absolutely leaving stuff out that I will have an anxiety attack about as soon as this hits the internet):
Beyonce – Lemonade (seriously, plus the film is the best Terrence Malick movie since A New World)
Anohni – Hopelessness
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Jeff Parker – The New Breed